It's no secret that Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is more than excited to return to Japan for UFC 144 this Saturday night. The former PRIDE standout spent over five years fighting and entertaining fans overseas before leaving for the WFA and UFC shortly before the collapse of Japanese MMA.
His co-main event bout against former "TUF" winner Ryan Bader is one that Jackson had to fight for. The former UFC light heavyweight champ admits that he had to put up quite a fight to land on this weekend's card, potentially angering UFC officials in the process. However the ability to have his family watch him fight in Japan one more time was worth it all:
“It’s a no-brainer. The UFC is going back to Japan and I got my big break in Japan. I wanted to be there,” he added. “I couldn’t just say it was on my bucket list, but you know what I’m saying, it was a no-brainer that UFC is putting on a show in Japan and I wanted to be on that card.”
“It’s very important to me personally. My kids are from Japan; my kids’ grandparents are from there. They’ve never really watched me fight back in the day, and I’ve got a lot of experience in Japan,” said the former UFC light heavyweight titleholder. "I really miss the fans; I’m not going to lie. I really miss fighting there. So it was something personal for me. My two younger kids can come watch me fight and the in-laws can be in the crowd and watch me fight. I never had that before, so it is something that I want to do.”
You can watch and listen to Rampage talk more about his excitement about fighting in Japan here.
A friend of mine asked for my prediction on Rampage and Bader earlier in the week. While Jackson is all about putting a show for the fans regardless of the result against Bader, something tells me that he will refuse to lose in Japan.
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